Insider: Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal. Hands-on with a Featherweight and Colorful RM Perfect for Halloween.

Released back in May of this year, the Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal is the third watch released in honor of the Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal. Fitted with a movement that can withstand shocks of up to 10,000 Gs, this timepiece has set a new standard in the watch industry. In terms of shock resistance, the tourbillon movement expands the horizons of technical performance. Aesthetically, the timepiece alludes to the Spanish tennis champion’s masterful character and this new watch reconciles innovations at the level of materials with a testament to horological architecture.

The Case

Fitted with a striking red and yellow Quartz TPT case that pays homage to Rafa’s native Spain, this watch has already been adversely nicknamed all sorts of things that we won't mention here. The intense burst of color on the new RM 27-03 is achieved by impregnating fine layers of silica just 45 microns thick with tinted resin according to a proprietary process developed in Switzerland that stacks the filaments in layers before heating them to 120 °C.

When it comes to releasing a new shade of Quartz TPT®, achieving color stability compliant with REACH standards while resolving issues of biocompatibility and durability represents a tremendous display of prowess on the part of the engineers at Richard Mille and North Thin Ply Technology —NTPT.

And once the composite is produced, there remain many hours of milling and finishing operations to produce the case and components. As a playful nod, winding and hand setting are conducted using a torque-limiting crown of Quartz TPT in the shape of a tennis ball. Light as a feather, the total weight of the new Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal is only 31.7 grams. The quartz fibers used in the case of the new Richard Mille RM27-03 —which happens to also be water resistant to 50 meters—, offer a very advantageous strength/weight ratio, as well as being hypoallergenic and highly resistant to UV rays. But the main innovation of this extraordinary watch lies in the capacity of its tourbillon caliber to withstand shocks up to 10,000 Gs. Additionally, the watch is fitted with a solid case back.

The Dial & Movement

Withstanding shocks of up to 10,000 Gs, the movement powering the new Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal was developed thanks to years of R&D and countless hours of tests. Fitted with an ultralight tourbillon calibre on the skeletonized unibody baseplate of carbon TPT with a precision to the nearest micron, the reduced number of components in this configuration permits additional weight savings, lightening the whole watch. Equipped with a rapid winding barrel, the movement provides a power reserve of 70 hours when fully wound.

With exceptional finishing that presents hand-polished tapered anglage and graceful satin surfaces that set off the sparkle of finely microblasted elements, the new RM 27-03 Tourbillon offers an impressive look via the dial side. Highly stylized, the sharp, streamlined curves of the skeletonized bridges encircling the barrel, the great wheel and the mechanical winding tourbillon beating at 3 Hz together evoke the forward-facing head of a bull. A symbol of Spain, this animal is also Nadal’s chosen emblem.

On the Wrist & Pricing

A lightweight and vibrant sporty watch that unfortunately we were not able to put on our wrist as the elastic band strap was too small to go over our fist, the watch seems true to its size and featherweight on the hand. Produced in a limited edition of only 50 pieces, the watch is available at the Richard Mille boutiques worldwide. A very colorful watch that can go trick-or- treating with you today.

Sticker Price $725,000 USD. For more information on Richard Mille click here.